Hey Team! Here it is:
When I arrived home from work and read these three chapters from the beginning of the Luke, I realized something. GOD IS GOOD. If I wanted to blog about every little truth, promise, or amazing tidbit of information that struck me while I read this, this entry would never end; much like the love that God shows each and every one of us each day. Thus, I have decided to give you all THREE TAKEAWAYS that really inspired me to keep on pursuing a deeper relationship with Jesus.
Takeaway #1: The Faithfulness, Perseverance, and Belief of Elizabeth
In verse 25 of Chapter 1, Elizabeth states, “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” One word caught my eye from the verse: disgrace. Elizabeth had been barren for her entire lifetime. I had no idea until a short time ago that in the day of Jesus this was seen as extremely disgraceful because childbearing was the most important job of a women. Yet Elizabeth was characterized as being “righteous in the sight of God” and very observant of all of the Lord’s decrees. I cannot begin to even fathom her level of love for Our Father despite her difficult circumstances. I can only hope and pray that I will be able to be as loyal and faithful as Elizabeth one day in my walk with Christ. This is something that I have skimmed over so many times, and I believe there is much we can learn from Elizabeth’s actions from the first chapter of Luke. “Your faith is not determined when everything goes according to plan, but when everything falls apart.”
Takeaway #2: The Birth of Jesus
This story of the Bible is probably one of the most well-known, but it has recently touched me in a deeper way over the course of the past year. Think about this: God, who created the universe, determines our destinies, and controls each synapse within our nervous systems that even allow me to think and type these words right now, sent His Son AS A BABY TO US. This is as “next level” of a 180 degree switch as it gets. Jesus went from being in control of GALAXIES to a baby that is dependent on someone else at all times in order to ensure he would survive to see another day. This winter break, as many of you know, I had another ACL reconstruction. This time, however, I could not walk for an entire month. All January I needed Jessie, my parents, or friends to do many things for me. This included bathing, eating, and even getting to sleep. It was hard for me to give up so much independence, and I now realize that Jesus did all of that and MORE! We should not take Jesus’ sacrifice lightly. He went from the God of the entire universe to a baby that could not even speak, all for US! I don’t know about you all, but every time I read or hear about a ruler or deity in history, they are described or remembered as someone who would NEVER ever give up their power or sacrifice all that they have for a people as undeserving as ourselves. Yet Jesus gave up his authority – and then some – for us by being born as an infant all for the sole purpose of serving as our sacrifice. That is something to be excited about! We need to remember that we have the privilege or serving the BEST SERVANT OF ALL TIME that went from an all-powerful king to a dependent baby all to save us from our sins. Never in the course of history has an act so selfless ever been performed!
Takeaway #3: The Genealogy of Jesus
From verses 23-38 of Chapter 3, Luke lists the 76 forefathers of Jesus. Oftentimes, I quickly skim through these verses because I can’t even pronounce half of the names (Mahalalel, Amminadab, Zerubbabel). However, we should all stop and ponder, much like Mary, about how great God is when reading these verses. The Jews, God’s chosen people, were promised a Messiah from the line of Abraham and David. It seems virtually impossible for Jesus to have come from 76 previous generations. However, God was FAITHFUL in his promise. When it seemed as though Jesus may never come to earth, he was born as a baby from the line of David. So often, we can think, “God cannot cure this cancer; God could never forgive me for my past sins”. But he is so much greater than that! He has promised us a new life and eternal salvation if we simply confess our iniquities and call upon His Son. I don’t want us to put God in a box this summer and on our respective college campuses this next year. He has promised, “Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” These are the words from God, and he is faithful! Nothing can separate from his love, and I hope we can all set our worries, burdens, doubts, and fears aside as we head to Atlanta this weekend so that we can be lights in this world that needs Jesus! I love all you guys, and I cannot wait to keep this summer of love going for Jesus!